Ocean Beach Planning Board to Take On Short-Term Rental on Saratoga

by on May 2, 2017 · 4 comments

in Ocean Beach

4925 Saratoga Ave.

The Ocean Beach Planning Board meets this Wednesday, May 3rd, and the Board has two projects to review on is agenda, a demolition on Voltaire Street and a project on Saratoga Avenue that appears to be a short-term rental. The Board meets at the OB Recreation Center, 4726 Santa Monica Avenue, at 6pm sharp.

Also on the agenda is a discussion by the Board members of the results from an April meeting with ABC (Alcohol, Beverage Control), plus the Board will receive a short presentation about Community Choice Energy.

4921 Voltaire. (When Google Maps took this photo, the building was boarded up.)

Demolition at 4921 Voltaire

The Board will review the demolition permit for 4921 Voltaire – a large, older residence – and make recommendations.

4925 Saratoga Short Term Vacation Rental

The other project before the Board is  a permit application to build a 918 square foot residence over a garage at 4925 Saratoga Avenue. However, this is a controversial project as neighbors claim the owner wants to expand the short term vacation rental lot they have going.

The 3500 square foot lot has an 800 square foot residence on it already, which was just recently rehabbed and is leased as a short-term rental. The garage is 730 square feet allowing a 2 tandem 2 car garage.  The proposed gross flood area, according to the agenda, is 1,648 square feet. The proposed floor-area-ratio is 0.70.

After the front house was rehabbed, it was immediately turned into a mini-hotel; the owner never lived there, according to knowledgeable neighbors.

Here is the official agenda:

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

OB Mercy May 4, 2017 at 6:44 pm

The proposed expansion of the already existing STVR right next door to us on Saratoga was denied in a unanimous vote by the OBPB last night. The full board of 12 were present.

Several got up and spoke, none in favor. One elderly local said him and his wife had owned a home there for over 30 yrs and just sold it because of all the STVR in OB. Quite sad.

Particularly sad was the fact that they evicted a wonderful family from being our neighbors, who had to live out of their camper with 3 small children for the next year, while they saved up enough money to rent again. Now, we have new “neighbors” every three days!

I brought many pics like you have above of the bunk beds and much more, as it’s all over the VRBO (Vacation Rental by Owner) web site. And I printed out text where the owner bragged about how many STVR him and his brother owns currently in OB, La Jolla, MB and PB. His lying knows no bounds as he changed his story that they would be moving in there eventually at the last meeting, to his Mother would live in the proposed new unit he wanted to build, at this meeting. He makes millions….you think he would live in a small, 2 bdrm cottage here in OB and go from making over $6000 a month to nothing? Doubtful.

It was nice to hear from board members that I did good detective work and while many spoke, I presented printed out info that seemed to move the board to vote on what they consider a historical decision. The situation of adding onto an existing STVR in OB has never occurred before.

They suggested I speak at the next town council meeting, as the subject of STVR will be on the agenda. I’ll be there for sure.


Frank Gormlie May 4, 2017 at 7:41 pm

Thanks so much, Mercy, for helping to lead the block to this development. And specially thanks for your update.


Jon Carr May 5, 2017 at 8:39 am

Thanks for the recap Mercy. Unfortunately I could not attend but did email the planning board the following statement:

My personal view has always been that these businesses are disallowed in our residential zones. I see no distinction between these and a hotel aside from the lack of a marquee and valet attendants. This is in no uncertain terms, a community crisis. We are all sick and tired of losing long-term community residents to investor greed and inappropriate use of property in our ‘residential’ neighborhood.

I’m not sure how the OBPB can recommend any type of approval for a project that is clearly being used for purposes which the San Diego City Attorney has emphatically stated are prohibited. In fact, I think it’s rather brazen of the owner to even come before the OB Planning board to suggest that they recommend developing a property for illegal use. It’s no different than if someone came before you and asked to develop property to be used as a restaurant or a casino in a residential zone.


OB Mercy May 5, 2017 at 9:21 am

Thanks so much for that concise and passionate letter to the OBPB Jon.

This is only a first step. See you at the next town council meeting where I’ll be happy to repeat myself.


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